"That's wine," he said, pointing.
"Yes, that's wine," I said.
"I want some wine," he said.
"That's for Mommy and Daddy," Steve said. "You can't have wine until you're 21."
"Or maybe you can have a little glass at dinner when you're older," I said, with a pointed glance at Steve.
To Steve I added, "Please, I hope you won't be one of those parents who refuses to let his kids have a few sips of wine every once in a while."
And I realized I'd slipped into the default again — the assumption that I won't be there. It's the way my mind has been tilting for a couple of months now. The boys as teenagers. Learning to ride a bike. The first day of school. I have to force myself to reimagine the scenario with myself in it. I do force myself. I don't want the default visualization to win. But it is the default. It's where my mind goes automatically. I wish it weren't so.
Later, Steve and I watched the seventh and final episode of the incredibly fascinating HBO miniseries John Adams. It was a sad episode: John and Abigail's daughter, Nabby, dies of breast cancer. Then old age catches up, and Abigail dies, and finally John himself, and Thomas Jefferson on the same day. Watching John and Abigail together after so many years of marriage, holding each other as they mourned their daughter's death, I said to Steve (with tears in my eyes), "That's how I've always imagined us as an old couple, still loving each other and supporting each other after so many years together." But I'm afraid we won't get to that place I've dreamed of. It's the default again.
I couldn't stop crying after we finished watching John Adams. Steve and I went into the boys' room and watched them sleep. Daniel was tossed and tousled on his race car bed, his limbs flung out in every direction. Ben lay in his crib with his arms over his head, the way Daniel used to sleep. Steve put an arm around me while I wept, and I wondered how much longer I will have to love them, these three guys who fill my heart.